A mysterious, astonishing powerful chatbot appears to have been briefly released to the world – before being hidden again.

It is not known what the artificial intelligence system is, or where it came from. But what is clear is that it is among the most powerful systems in the world.

The system was first spotted on LMSYS Org, a website that benchmarks AI systems and ranks them. Users saw that the tool, named gpt2-chatbot, was briefly available to use.


Word quickly spread about the new system, which users said was as powerful as OpenAI’s GPT-4, itself among the most powerful available in the world. Some even found that it performed better than all other models on some specific tests.

But many noted that it there was no information about where the model had come from, which only helped propel speculation about the mysterious model.

But as soon as it appeared, gpt2-chatbot was taken offline. LMSYS Org said that it was the result of “unexpectedly high traffic & capacity limit”, and that the outage was temporary. “Please stay-tuned for its broader release,” the organisation said in a tweet.

It also noted that it works with developers to test systems before they are released, and that much of that testing is intended to remain public. It references gpt2-chatbot as part of that policy – but did not say which developer it was working with.

However, there was much speculation that the system was an unreleased piece of work that had come out of OpenAI itself.

“i do have a soft spot for gpt2,” Mr Altman wrote on Twitter.

In a separate post, OpenAI staff member Steven Heidel posted a cryptic tweet that also referenced “gpt-2”.

OpenAI generally refers to its models with a hyphen – so that the second version of GPT would be written GPT-2 – and Mr Altman had originally written his tweet that way. That led to some speculation that the name could indicate that it is the second kind of GPT to be released, rather than an incremental update.

The unreleased AI models within companies such as OpenAI have been the subject of intense speculation as people to look to understand the potential of artificial intelligence.


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